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GOP targets DFL in gas tax ads

Republicans begin airing a television commercial today in the Twin Cities area that targets House Democrats who supported a state gasoline tax increase earlier this year.

It could be aired elsewhere later.

"Who's to blame for higher gas prices? It's the Democrats in the state Capitol," says a voice in the 15-second ad.

The House Republican Campaign Committee-funded ad will appear on Twin Cities' network affiliate television stations.

Originally, the GOP wanted the ad to appear at gasoline pumps that feature video monitors, but one chain of stations turned down the request, House Minority Leader Marty Seifert said. His staff is inquiring about running the ads on monitors at another chain.

Seifert, R-Marshall, said Republicans have prepared between 10 and 15 ads targeting specific Twin Cities-area House Democrats for use on gas pump monitors in those districts, but without an agreement with gas stations they will pay to run a general anti-tax ad on television.

Seifert said the ad buy could expand to cable channels in greater Minnesota.

The Legislature earlier this year overrode Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of a transportation funding bill that included a gas tax increase of up to 8.5 cents per gallon.

Seifert said the GOP ads will not target six House Republicans who voted for the override. Democrats say the gas tax hike is needed to fund important road, bridge and transit projects.